New DBS hub aims to help youth with free financial advice

Young people struggling with financial planning have a new avenue to turn to in the form of a centre by DBS Bank that offers free advisory services.

The NAV Hub at Tanjong Pagar, which was officially opened yesterday, does not sell financial products but provides expert guidance for customers. The Hub is targeted at young people, but is open to all.

Appointments can be made with the "NAV crew" for free personalised financial planning so customers can learn more about their financial health and understand their goals and how to achieve them.

They can also attend monthly financial planning classes at the centre conducted by industry experts and obtain financial planning tips from its online portal.

The NAV Hub, which opened to the public in late May, incorporates innovative tools to help customers plan money matters.

One initiative involves DBS collaborating with third-party experts such as Ideo, a human-centred design company, to come up with digital engagement tools such as Mindset Cards. These help the NAV crew find out from customers what their present and future attitudes are towards money management and financial planning.

The NAV Hub is part of a new financial planning initiative by DBS, called NAV - Your Financial GPS, that aims to help customers navigate through life's changes, uncertainties and opportunities. It comes after a DBS survey showing that more than half of young people in Singapore do not plan, nor know how to plan, their finances.

The survey, which polled DBS customers aged between 20 and 35 with less than two years of working experience, also found that 60 per cent of them want to manage their money better to help them achieve their goals.

Their top three goals are buying a home, growing their money and self-development such as paying to further their studies.

Mr Brandon Lam, DBS Singapore's head of financial planning, said: "We designed NAV - Your Financial GPS as an interactive concept for young adults to fully understand their financial health and make concrete plans to work towards their financial goals.

"These could be conversations on buying their first homes, getting married, raising children, growing their money or retiring comfortably. The NAV Hub provides a relaxed environment for these conversations."

Mr Jonathan Tan Jun Jie, a 19-year-old student who attended a personalised financial planning session at the NAV Hub, said the place has given him better insight into his financial planning needs.

"It has shown me the progress and problems of my savings, and also given me an evaluation of my assets," he added.

"The NAV crew also gave me tips and suggestions on ways I could go about doing my saving plans for my future, and they have helped me to better understand my current financial situation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'New DBS hub aims to help youth with free financial advice'. Print Edition | Subscribe